The city of Melbourne will begin to open for business from tomorrow after three months of COID-19 lockdown, boosting hopes the Australian Open will go ahead in January – with crowds.

Australia’s second biggest city has been under a strict 8pm curfew since July as a second wave of the virus broke out after government quarantine systems were exposed as flawed.

But restaurants, pubs and retail businesses will reopen tomorrow and authorities are also permitting social visits to homes.

The Australian Open starts on January 18 and organisers hope to welcome at least 100,000 domestic spectators, just over 10 per cent of the normal attendance, to the two-week event.